Texas Legislature has adopted a law (HB 1641) that is designed to affect how graduate and professional programs admit students and award scholarships. The University of North Texas (UNT) already complies fully with the spirit of HB 1641. To insure that we comply with the letter of the law, we are taking these steps:
- In addition to an applicant's prior academic performance as an undergraduate or graduate student, appropriate standardized test scores, and other factors already considered, the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies strongly urges each of its graduate programs to consider in their admissions and scholarships awards as many of the following factors as they deem relevant to predicting student success in their programs:
- an applicant's academic record as a high school student;
- the socioeconomic background of the applicant while the applicant attended elementary and secondary school and was an undergraduate student, including any change in that background;
- whether the applicant would be the first generation of the applicant's family to attend or graduate from an undergraduate program or from a graduate or professional program;
- whether the applicant has multilingual proficiency;
- the applicant's responsibilities while attending elementary and secondary school and as an undergraduate student, including whether the applicant was employed, whether the applicant helped to raise children, and other similar factors;
- to achieve geographic diversity, the applicant's region of residence at the time of application and, if the applicant graduated from a public high school in this state within the preceding 20 years, the region in which the applicant's school district is located;
- the applicant's involvement in community activities;
- the applicant's demonstrated commitment to a particular field of study;
- for admission into a professional program, the current comparative availability of members of that profession in the applicant's region of residence while the applicant attended elementary and secondary school;
10. whether the applicant was automatically admitted to a general academic teaching institution as an undergraduate student under Section 51.803; and
11. the applicant's personal interview.
Programs will establish appropriate mechanisms and procedures for collecting information on any of these factors that they deem relevant to predicting student success.
- The Toulouse School of Graduate Studies reaffirms or establishes the following restrictions on how UNT graduate programs use standardized tests in admissions and scholarship award decisions.
- Graduate programs may not use an applicant's score on a standardized admissions test as the sole criterion to determine whether an applicant is admitted or receives a competitive scholarship. Comment: This is a reaffirmation of current UNT policy, under which a standardized test is never the sole criterion to determine whether a student is admitted or given a scholarship.
- Graduate programs may not use an applicant's score on a standardized admissions test as the primary criterion for ending consideration of whether an applicant is admitted or receives a competitive scholarship. Comment: This is a reaffirmation of current UNT policy, under which a student always has the opportunity to demonstrate via appeal that he or she has strengths on other relevant factors that may compensate for unsatisfactory test scores or previous academic performance.
- Programs should compare an applicants test scores with those of other applicants from similar socioeconomic backgrounds to the extent that those backgrounds can be properly determined and identified from information provided in the admissions or competitive scholarship process. Comment: This is an expansion of existing UNT policy, under which programs are encouraged to examine multiple relevant aspects of a student's record (on which appropriate data are available) to insure that the student is treated equitably in admissions and competitive scholarship awards.
- Graduate programs may not assign a specific weight to any one factor that determines whether an applicant is admitted or receives a competitive scholarship. Comment: This is an expansion of existing UNT policy, under which programs may not use combined scores from different parts of standardized tests and are discouraged from using formulas based on weighted combinations of grades and test scores to make final admissions or scholarship decisions.